Composting Is So Fun: Maybe I’ll Start A Commercial Composting Business? Weird Things I’m Throwing In the Composter.
April 28, 2021
by Dr. Plastic Picker
Once again my friend Dr. Young-Ho Yoon has transformed my life. I need to do an update on MD Eco-Warrior on him soon. It’s been so busy that I haven’t been keeping up with the MD interviews. But my former senior resident and friend from our Boston days had introduced us to the Aerobin400 and it’s been such a life-changer for us. It really has been amazing.
Yesterday was really an off day, but I knew how to put things to right. After finishing the work I was doing, and realizing I was slightly irritable due to poor sleep – I exercised in the evening for a bit and made sure not to drink any coffee after 2pm. And last night it paid off. I had a glorious night of sleep and I’m up at my normal which is about 430AM. A clear mind is so important, and knowing what helps to recenter you is important. For me it has been about good sleep, brisk walking and doing a bag of trash, watering the garden, and composting. I made a silly art piece as well.
Just wanted to have fun on the blog this morning and detail all the weird things that are going into the composter. Our composter is HOT COMPOSTING, and is going really fast. I follow two instagram accounts on composting and get really good tips. Most of my tips are from @aerobin400 and @grovestreet (I think that’s her handle). They are both Australian accounts and into composting. Especially since I purchased a used composter at a discount direct from the VP of Marketing for $145, and each 8 lb bag of compost is $29.99. I’m really already made my money back. The compost we’re using in our garden and giving to various people as well. I’m at the point where we are collecting carbon and nitrogens from non-traditional sources. It’s just been fun, because the composters I follow all say you have to keep the composter full at least 2/3 and layer it and water it. So here are the odd things I put in the composter.
10 Odd Things Dr. Plastic Picker Puts in My Composter
- Citrus Peels: I know this is not odd. But a lot of sites will say not to put citrus peels. But now that our house is really good at HOT COMPOSTING this is 100% not true. We have a kumquat tree, several lemon trees, and our kids love clementines and grapefruit. We compost them all. I think the key is hot composting is better to breakdown everything.
- Bunny Anything: Pretty much bunny anything. The bunny litter is their little small bunny poop pellets, their urine, the recycled newspaper “cat” litter which we use for our bunnies is all super ingredients for our composter. The poop is already fertilizer in itself, but we throw it into the composter to supercharge it and then their urine is nitrogens. All the bunny waste (which used to be a lot) for two bunnies goes into the composter. We do not put the actual bunnies in there! LOL.
- HMO Coffee Grounds: This really just amuses me. I think it will probably get to the point, that other people who work in the office will pick up the coffee grounds. I’m making it into a thing! Anytime I work past 4pm, I try to grab the bag from our friend at the coffee shop. On Monday the bag was soooooo heavy. I just fish out the stray tea bags and they do a great job of making it almost all coffee grounds.
- Neighbor’s Coffee: One of my mom’s neighbors is Dr. JMcQ. He is also a semi-retired from from work. He’s a better friend now because I realize I should be friends with people who actually live near us ala Mr. Money Mustache style. So when I have too many veggies I will drop off at his house because I know they’ll eat them. He is collecting his coffee grounds in a small Ovaltine container and I’m picking it up and swapping things for fun. It’s just amusing to me and I need the nitrogens anyway.
5. Hair and Nail Clippings: I am putting our daughters hair in the composter. She is not on any medication. It is nitrogens. I throw my nail clippings in there for fun too! It decomposes! I even put some of our puppys fur in there.
6. Old Bad Fruit from the HMO Office Fridge: Did my co-workers see the bad fruit in the fridge? Someone bought one of those cut fruit things from Vons for an office party while I was gone. The fruit was in the fridge and I’ll try to do my part and clean out the fridge once in a while. It was going bad. I took an old ziplock bag I found in the lunchroom and scooped the bag fruit into it and threw it in the freezer. I rinsed and recycled the plastic container. That fruit is nitrogens!!! It’s great! I felt great throwing it into the composter!
7. Paper Bags: We don’t buy any bags, paper or plastic really. But these bags eventually come into our house. When we get those bags, I usually use them to put shredded paper in for recycling. But because of all the coffee grounds we had, I needed to balance out the nitrogens. Paper bags are carbon! So I cut them up and actually crinkled them into balls. It’s good to increase the surface area of the carbon, and crinkling them into balls increases the aeration of the pile. Anyways, I put a paper bag in yesterday. I saw the egg cartons my mother in law threw in!
8. Leaf Litter: I learned this one on Instagram. Leaf litter, the leaves that fall from trees that clog the gutters is actually really really valuable. Especially if it’s slightly moldly. Leaf mold is part of nature’s natural mulching process. So anyway, I collected a small bag of leaf litter from the street around a neighbors “neglected” sidewalk area. Usually the street cleaner on Thursdays will sweep all those leaves away. But I took some and happily put it into the composter. It’s carbon!
9. Peanut Shells: This works for us since we are hot composting and the composting process goes faster. It has really made me aware that Mr. Plastic Picker eats way too much lightly salted peanuts whereas the grandparents eat unsalted peanuts. You cannot put salted anything in compost. It’s bad for one’s health anyway! This has encouraged Mr. Plastic Picker to eat more unsalted peanuts because the shells can be throwin in the composter!
10. My Stresses: And what also goes into the composter and is turned into black gold? My stresses. When I’m stressed or I need to relax a bit, I look around the house for something unusual to put in the composter. Or I go just look at it and feel the heat emanating from the pile and I just think about nature and this beautiful process. Sometimes when something at work does not make sense, like another unattainable quality goal that upper upper regional management is pushing – the composting reminds me that science and biology are real. The bacteria and mold and chemistry of what’s happening in there is real. A lot of work stressses are make believe. Literally, sometimes I think they push down these regional goals because I think someone who is an upper upper upper echelons of management has nothing better to do and I really feel trying to justify their job.
So composting in it’s best HOT COMPOSTING process for me has been a metaphor for life. You throw seemingly cr@p in there, what others think of as waste – and out comes black gold that supercharges the garden. And then I eat the stuff and I save even more money and become even healthier! If you know me in real life and want to check out our composter, let me know! I really love that thing.